Author Archives: Mark Ilhan

PLGA microspheres

With over 20 years of experience developing time-release pharmaceuticals, Oakwood Labs is a trusted industry source for pharmaceutical products that include PLA and PLGA microspheres. PLGA and PLA polymers are FDA-approved biodegradable and biocompatible polymers that have been used in medical devices, including microspheres.

PLA Microspheres vs. PLGA Microspheres

PLA and PLGA microspheres are widely studied polymers in the medical field, as they allow for the encapsulation of the desired active pharmaceutical ingredient or drug. The PLA microspheres aide in controlling the release of the drug from the polymer matrix and allow for a sustained release of the drug over a period of time that can vary from weeks to several months.

PLA microspheres exhibit asymmetric centers in their backbone which result in either D or L forms, producing PDLA or PLLA. PLGA is the copolymer of D, L-lactic acid with glycolic acid.

While both PLA and PLGA microspheres are insoluble in water, their absorption of water causes them to degrade over time. The methyl groups of PLA microspheres decrease the water uptake properties of the polymer, thereby extending its time-release properties.

One of the most important factors that affects the degradation rate of PLA and PLGA microspheres is the molecular weight of the polymer. Crystalline parts of the polymer exhibit more resistance to degradation. As Keles states, “the crystallinity of the polymer depends on compositions. For example, increasing the percentage of glycolide monomer in PLGA backbones decrease polymer crystallinity.”

PLA and PLGA Microspheres Play a Critical Role

One advantage of working with PLGA and PLA microspheres is the fact that the polymers can be used to encapsulate almost all types of drugs. This includes:

  • Small molecules
  • Peptides
  • Polypeptides
  • Proteins

It’s possible for the microspheres to have such diverse abilities because they come in a variety of comonomer ratios, molecular weights, and end-capping configurations. This allows the release duration to be tailored for each specific drug. In addition, the release profile, such as the burst release, can be modified by choosing the appropriate polymer for the reaction.

The release profile of the drug over time is dependent on the specific drug that is being encapsulated by the PLA and PLGA microspheres. Interactions between the polymers and the drug can be positive or adverse and require an in-depth understanding to develop a successful microsphere product.

Our Process of Developing PLGA and PLA Microspheres

In initial production stages, we utilize small batches to allow for testing of a multitude of trial batches and rapid production. As we develop the formulation with the desired time-release profile and additional desired characteristics, we then refine methods of production. Our processing of developing PLA and PLGA microspheres starts in small batches to ensure that all desired properties are met and can then be scaled to a commercial production process.

Our Chroniject™ PLA/PLGA microsphere time-release injections are a leader in the industry and have several key benefits. Some of the benefits include:

  • Rapid development of formulations with small-scale batches that are easily scalable
  • Proven lot-to-lot reproducibility
  • Flexible release durations that vary from one week to one year
  • Applications in multiple therapeutic indications (CNS, neurology, ophthalmology)

Contact Us for Your PLA/PLGA Microsphere Needs

Oakwood Labs is equipped to support all development phases of time-release drugs using our PLA/PLGA microsphere technology. If you are interested in knowing more about how our microspheres can help you, contact our team today.

pharmaceutical feasibility studies

Oakwood Labs was founded over 20 years ago as a specialty pharmaceutical company, and we operate as a one-stop source for all aspects of long-acting injectable development. Our focus is placed on developing and manufacturing sustained-release injectables that function to benefit the intended population.

When looking at pharmaceutical development, it is important to take a systematic approach for all of the necessary steps. While we are equipped to assist in any stage of the process, it is important to work patiently in sequential order. For a new project, a pharmaceutical feasibility study is the first step in the process.

Defining a Pharmaceutical Feasibility Study

When you first set out to release a new drug product into the market, it is important to have goals and objectives in mind, and pharmaceutical feasibility studies help assess the practicality of a proposed idea. Put simply, this process is the study of total actions and outcomes.

Pharmaceutical feasibility studies determine processing factors that will lead to an optimized outcome for your pharmaceutical project, which gives confidence that the goals of the process can be achieved. It also can uncover aspects of a project that are capable of fully changing the scope, analyzing these aspects to avoid wasting resources in the future.

The Importance of Conducting Pharmaceutical Feasibility Studies

Feasibility studies are an essential step in the development process because they help determine the suitability of a particular project. The overall purpose looks to determine whether your process is designed properly and precedes the scale-up and development of the sustained-release formulations.

A pharmaceutical feasibility study can also be used to better understand risks that you might encounter and challenge critical manufacturing components. With this progression, you will better understand the expectations against the reality of your project, further being exposed to the difference in planned scale, materials, or even equipment.

Achieving Optimal Timing

The timing of this process must be chosen strategically. If all the feasibility steps are not completed, it is possible that you will end up wasting time and resources in the future. The timeline varies based on each individual project, but choosing the right team to work with can mitigate the lifecycle of the project.

Process Breakdown

The overall goal of a pharmaceutical feasibility study is to determine whether a target product profile is achievable. We study this through a multistep process:

  • Pre-formulation activities – This involves developing a strategy for batch production. It is possible to select initial polymer and solvent candidates and understand analytical methods that will provide support to the testing process.
  • Characterizing feasibility formulations – Our team focuses on producing batches at a small scale when manufacturing. The data from the first iteration of batches is used to determine the next iteration of batches. Characterization results include drug load, particle size, residual solvents, in vitro release profiles, polymer molecular weight and more.
  • Finalizing feasibility report – In this step, we compose a report and prepare for the process of outsourced animal testing. We take the lead candidate formulations and prepare materials that can assist in the animal pharmacokinetic (PK) testing process.

Benefits of Working with Oakwood Labs for a Pharmaceutical Feasibility Study

While pharmaceutical feasibility studies can be seen as an in-depth process, we work to make it as simple as possible. With over 20 years of drug encapsulation experience, Oakwood Labs is considered a leader in the pharmaceutical industry. Our research and development labs are filled with state-of-the-art technology, all of which is available to solve pharmaceutical challenges.

Oakwood Labs is the destination for your project, regardless of your current stage. For rapid formulation development, we typically initiate projects with small batches. Every project is carried out with an experienced formulation and analytical team.

If you are looking for additional support during the development of your project, we have other services to help, including:

Request More Information from Oakwood Labs

From pharmaceutical feasibility studies to Phase 3 clinical batches, Oakwood Labs is ready to assist your project.

Request more information today to see how we can help with your next pharmaceutical feasibility study!

Dallas, TX

This year’s PDA Annual Meeting is occurring April 4-6 in Dallas, TX. This event is focused on the theme of “Level Up: Agility in the New Normal” and will highlight items to look forward to in the future of pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Incorporating speakers, networking events, and panel discussions, this is an event that you will not want to miss. This year, we are excited to announce that we will be featured as an exhibitor.

We Look Forward to Seeing You

Our team has been focused on researching and developing sustained-release injectables, and we are always looking for opportunities to chat about our discoveries and processes. If you are looking for an aseptic lab staffed by experts, consider Oakwood Labs for your next project, as we can assist you in the following:

  • Pre-formulation development activities
  • Feasibility studies
  • Scale-up of formulation
  • Manufacturing toxicology batches
  • ICH compliant stability testing
  • Clinical trial manufacturing (Phase I, II, III)
  • Commercial aseptic GMP manufacturing

We are so excited to meet you and show you what we have been working on, so be sure to come to visit the Oakwood Labs team at Booth #308.

Don’t Hesitate to Reach Out

The 2022 PDA Annual Meeting is sure to inform us about new trends and inspire us to be innovative as we take on the pharmaceutical challenges that lie ahead. If you are unable to attend the event, we would be happy to chat about our experience at the occasion or provide information on extended-release technology and more.

Reach out today with any questions you may have. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Phase 1 Clinical Trials

At Oakwood Labs, we are known for our experience in pharmaceutical research and development. As a premier resource for all phases of development including Phase 1 clinical trials, we continue to lead the industry, delivering products that provide enhanced therapeutic benefits.

A Phase 1 clinical trial is extremely important as it introduces a new drug to human subjects. Considering this study is critical in early phases of drug development, appropriate guidance and guidelines must be in place. To facilitate these Phase 1 clinical trials, Oakwood Labs maintains an aseptic, FDA-approved GMP manufacturing facility.

By having a GMP facility, it allows our team to follow stringent manufacturing practices, ensuring that pharmaceutical products are controlled and produced to the highest quality standards.

The Goal of Phase 1 Clinical Trials

Phase 1 clinical trials place extreme importance on pharma and biotech companies considering that this is how the safety and efficacy of a new drug is tested. Trials are used to assess and outline the best dosing that should be used in later phases, with the Phase 1 clinical trial being a defining moment, as it shows the chances of future commercialization of the drug.

When it comes to Phase 1 clinical trials, some goals include:

  • Demonstrating that patients tolerate the drug well under investigation
  • Ensuring that any adverse effects seen from these studies will be used to characterize the profile of a new medicinal product
  • Determining the correct dosage and testing different schemes of the compound
  • Observing preliminary signs of drug efficacy in regards to the condition or disease being treated

Critical Considerations in a Phase 1 Clinical Trial

With the goal of ensuring high-quality research, certain aspects need to be taken into account when designing trials. Some of the key considerations that our team reflects on in Phase 1 clinical trials include:

  • Inclusion/exclusion criteria – These entail the characteristics of the subjects being treated in a Phase 1 clinical trial.
  • Treatment scheme – This pertains to how the study’s drugs are being administered, suggesting the experimental drug administration dose and sequence with the best chances of success.
  • MTD – An approach is required to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of the experimental treatment. This necessitates defining dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs), and is a central part of a Phase 1 clinical trial.

Oakwood Labs Offers More Than Phase 1 Clinical Trials

Oakwood Labs has over 20 years of experience, providing services for a variety of businesses across different industries. Our manufacturing abilities and advanced technology has allowed us to supply high-quality services and products.

As an industry leader in pharmaceutical development and manufacturing, we are proud to offer numerous services, including:

Contact Oakwood Labs to Learn More About Phase 1 Clinical Trials

Oakwood Labs is committed to developing reliable pharmaceutical products for our pharmaceutical partners, and we provide the expertise and dedicated staff to help you along the way.

Contact our team to learn more about Phase 1 clinical trials and the other services we can provide. We look forward to hearing from you.

FDA approval process

The FDA protects and promotes public health by regulating a wide variety of products, including pharmaceuticals. Receiving authorization from the FDA before releasing a product to the market is an ethical practice, and one which should be adhered to.

Oakwood Labs offers long-acting injectables and other sustained release microsphere technology, all in an aseptic, FDA-approved environment. Our manufacturing facility is equipped to conduct Phase I, II, or III clinical trial material, which can be of assistance for pharmaceutical companies seeking to go through the FDA approval process.

An Overview of the FDA Approval Timeline

To ensure that pharmaceuticals are both safe and effective, the FDA approval process is designed to favor products that abide by their requirements and processes alike.

Under a standard review, the FDA approval timeline will start approximately 10 months after an application is submitted. From here, the timeframe for approval of each product can differ.

Who Is Involved in the FDA Approval Process?

On the research side, a pharmaceutical company will oversee the discovery and development of the product, pre-clinical research, and clinical research of a new market product. They will need to completely fill out the New Drug Application before undergoing the FDA approval process.

The company will then submit any information collected from the laboratory in their NDA. Once submitted, physicians from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, chemists, pharmacologists, statisticians, and other scientists from the FDA will collectively work to determine if the drug is ready for approval.

Completing the “Action Package”

As mentioned above, the FDA only reviews completed New Drug Applications. If all data is present, the FDA approval timeline begins. First, the technical discipline teams address their respective sections and prepare for the supervisory review. Inspectors will then conduct inspections at locations where clinical studies took place. This ensures that findings were collected in an ethical manner without tampered evidence.

Data, evidence, and notes are organized by a project manager and complied into an “action package,” which becomes the basis for FDA review. A senior FDA official will then review all of the information and determine whether the drug is suited for its intended use.

How Does the Process Change if Approval Is Not Granted?

The FDA reserves the right to either delay or deny a product that has been submitted. Once this occurs, the pharmaceutical company who submitted will receive a letter that declares the news and offers an opportunity to meet with the FDA to discuss issues.

Delayed or denied applications may receive hearings, corrections for later approval, or even withdrawal of the application altogether. Common reasons for denial or delay include issues of safety, manufacturing, or effectiveness.

What Occurs After Approval?

It is normal for a pharmaceutical company to receive approval and still need to resolve issues or questions that were developed during the FDA approval timeline. Once they are able to produce the necessary studies and data, the New Drug Application is complete.

The FDA will then work with the company to research the prescribing information. The FDA approval process is often concluded with labeling, where the FDA works with the pharmaceutical company to define the best uses for the drug and discuss the terms on which the drug was approved.

Risk management for the drug is addressed and the company will seek best practices for monitoring health while the drug is utilized. These practices take time to ensure that the product is performing as promised. Products approved by the FDA are always subjected to post-market safety monitoring to confirm their impact on the population.

How Does This Impact the Public?

If the FDA deems a product ready for consumption by the public, it is designated as approved. Consumers can then identify whether products they research are FDA approved through two sites: Drugs@FDA and the “Orange Book.” Both of these destinations are regularly updated to keep customers aware of approved products and other relevant information.

Connect with Oakwood Labs as You Undergo the FDA Approval Process

FDA approval of a product gives users of the intended population confidence that the drug’s advantages outperform its known and potential dangers. Oakwood Labs provides the proper team and environment to help you every step of the way.

If you are looking for a team to support you through the FDA approval process or want to learn more, contact us today!

Since our founding in 1997, Oakwood Labs has stayed up to date on the advancements in pharmaceuticals and has remained an industry leader. Our team is continuously reaching new heights and is committed to growing every day. As part of these efforts, at Oakwood Labs we specialize in the lyophilization of pharmaceuticals.

What Are Lyophilized Pharmaceuticals and Why Are They Important?Lyophilized pharmaceuticals

The lyophilization of pharmaceuticals is a process used in the preservation of biomedical materials. Lyophilization, also known as freeze-drying, is the practice of removing water from a sample to stabilize a drug, vaccine, or biological sample without changing any characteristics of the product, allowing for preservation.

The three stages of the lyophilization of a product are:

  • Freezing – The sample becomes completely frozen in a freeze-drying chamber, removing water. The sample must be cooled below its critical temperature for it to become fully frozen.
  • Primary drying – The frozen material is dried through sublimation. The pressure of the chamber is reduced while temperature is raised slightly. Heat is added to provide energy in the sublimation process.
  • Secondary drying – This entails a desorption process where the remaining solvent is removed. Temperature is raised during this stage and pressure in the chamber is reduced.

After a product has gone through each phase successfully, lyophilization has taken place, and this process allows for products to be stored for a much longer period of time, and for the products to be shipped without harming the sample. After lyophilization occurs, the sample can then be reconstituted to its original form.

The Benefits of the Lyophilization of Pharmaceuticals

The lyophilization of pharmaceuticals has helped the medical industry reach new heights, particularly through the saving and transferring of samples which creates greater access to the product.

Additional benefits of lyophilized pharmaceuticals include:

  • Increase in shelf life of product
  • Easier to store the product
  • Enhanced stability of dry sample
  • No need for excessive heating of the product
  • Easier to ship the product
  • Less biohazard waste
  • Protects the sample from contamination

The lyophilization of pharmaceuticals has allowed for easier use and transferability of pharmaceuticals, pushing the industry forward. Due to its varied benefits, there will likely be continued growth in the use of lyophilization in pharmaceuticals for years to come.

The Future of Lyophilized Pharmaceuticals

It is clear that the use of lyophilization in the pharmaceutical industry will continue to grow. As drugs, vaccines, and other biomedical samples become more complex, the need for stability through lyophilization will only increase.

As biotechnology develops further, lyophilization will be able to support the growth of the industry and benefit new products being created. With lyophilization, products will continue to be more readily available and easily accessible. At Oakwood Labs, we focus on bringing you lyophilized pharmaceuticals that meet your project’s needs. 

Contact Oakwood Labs for More Information on Lyophilized Pharmaceuticals

Lyophilized pharmaceuticals are key in preserving samples for future use. Let Oakwood Labs provide the solutions for you. If you are interested in learning more about lyophilized pharmaceuticals, contact us today.

Our team of industry experts is committed to providing you with thorough information and answers to any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.

Oakwood Labs has over 20 years of experience developing and manufacturing sustained-release injectable drugs. Our company built and maintains an aseptic, FDA-approved manufacturing facility to enhance development capabilities. This means that Oakwood Labs undergoes an aseptic formulation process prior to drug manufacturingaseptic formulation

Our team has the ability to achieve milestones within set deadlines, provide transparent communication, adapt to change, and offer expertise, all while ensuring proper sterilization throughout all of our processes. Read on to learn more.

What Is an Aseptic Formulation?

With pharmaceutical products, it is essential that they are sterile prior to introducing them to the patient. For drug products to be sterile, they must be manufactured using the aseptic processing technique.

Aseptic formulation refers to the various techniques used to ensure that the product is free of contaminants, ultimately reducing risk of infection for the patient. Drug components, drug product containers, and excipients are processed to prevent microbial contamination for the final sealed product.

For aseptic formulation, a major factor that is needed is a cleanroom. Cleanrooms contain airflow hoods, isolators, filling lines, sterilizing fillers, and various other equipment to ensure there is minimal introduction, generation, and retention of particles inside the room and other relevant parameters are controlled. Environmental monitoring is conducted to continually provide meaningful information regarding the quality of aseptic processing.

Why Is Aseptic Formulation Important?

When it comes to the medical and pharmaceutical industry, the biggest concern is the risk of infection to the patient. The safest way to prevent infection is to ensure that everything is as clean and sterile as possible. Aseptic formulation is designed to keep bacteria and other microorganisms out and prevent infection.

Our team at Oakwood Labs works diligently to keep our aseptic formulation process efficient, ensuring no risk to the patient.

About Our Aseptic Formulation Facility

At Oakwood Labs, we conduct the aseptic formulation process to reduce risk of infection to patients and keep our environments clean. As a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and manufacturing of sustained release injectables, we are a fully aseptic cGMP manufacturing facility.

aseptic formulation

As a full-service cGMP manufacturing facility, we offer the following services:

In addition to our GMP pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities, we have various other services. These include:

  • Formulation and analytical development
  • Accelerated and long-term studies
  • Scale-up, validation, or engineering batches
  • Complete method transfer and validation
  • Batch record and protocol development

Feel free to reach out to us regarding any questions on aseptic formulation and the processes at Oakwood Labs.

Contact Us to Partner with Our Aseptic Formulation Company

Interested in partnering with an aseptic formulation company? Contact Oakwood Labs today. We pride ourselves on having the experience to meet your requirements and expectations for microsphere-based sustained release pharmaceutical injectables.

Reach out to Oakwood Labs to learn more about our solutions and why partnering with us is beneficial.

microencapsulation technology

Microencapsulation is the process in which active substances are entrapped by extremely small capsules, which can contain a variety of substances such as solids, liquids, proteins, drugs, stem cells and more. The goal of cell microencapsulation has traditionally been drug delivery. The active molecules inside these capsules are protected until they reach their specific action site.

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Depot Injections in Pharmaceutical Development

At Oakwood Labs, we are a leader in the manufacturing and development of sustained release pharmaceuticals, also known as depot injections. With over 20 years of expertise in depot drug development, our microsphere technology enables sustained release over durations of two weeks to one year.

Learn more about the depot drug manufacturing from Oakwood Labs.

Why Choose Depot Injections?

When it comes to depot injections, there are various advantages to receiving this form of medication. Some key reasons to consider depot drug development include:

  • Reduced number of injections needed – Due to the sustained release component, inconvenient and frequent injections are not needed.
  • Increase patient compliance – If you have difficulty remembering to take medication regularly or fail to receive injections, depot injections are a way to combat noncompliance.
  • Prevention of drug abuse – Depot drug injections reduce the possibility of using an excessive amount of a drug.
  • Targeting to specific areas – With this type of injection, higher drug concentration can be delivered to the targeted area.

Choose Our Depot Drug Manufacturing at Oakwood Labs

Oakwood labs has state-of-the-art technology to solve all of the challenges with developing and manufacturing pharmaceutical injectables. Our microsphere technology, Chroniject, is a patented, polymer-based injectable that is compatible with small molecules, hormones, peptides, and proteins. With our advanced technology, we have the ability to demonstrate lot-to-lot reproducibility and scale-up successes.

Some of the characteristics of why our technology stands out, include:

  • Fast development of formulations using small scale batches
  • Formulations are scalable
  • Controlled process parameters
  • Lot-to-lot reproducibility
  • Compatible with small molecules
  • Flexible release duration
  • Exceptional stability
  • Applications in multiple therapeutic indications

We understand that developing a depot injection requires high-quality manufacturing. The Oakwood Labs team is dedicated to achieving milestones within deadlines, providing transparent communication, adapting to change, and offering expertise through the entirety of the process.

Our Process for Formulating Microparticles in Depot Injections

When clients come to us for microparticle depot drug manufacturing, we start by determining the optimal product profile. We begin by optimizing the following:

  • Active pharmaceutical ingredient (API)
  • Duration of release
  • Particle size
  • Vial size
  • Needle size
  • Appropriate solvent system
  • Stable state levels
  • Method of administration
  • Drug load

After we optimize the product profile, we then begin to evaluate if the target product is compatible with our technology. The steps for this process include:

  • Pre-formulation activities – The result of these determines how we develop for batch production.
  • Manufacture and characterize feasibility formulations – The team will manufacture and characterize microsphere formulation pilot batches and vary formulation parameters if needed.
  • Finalize feasibility report and choose lead formulations for animal testing – The last step includes finalizing a feasibility summary report, recommending lead formulations for animal studies, and supplying material for initiating animal study.

With our advanced capabilities, you can rely on Oakwood Labs for your depot drug manufacturing. Throughout the entire manufacturing process, we are highly transparent with our clients, and all of our projects are agreed to by our clients beforehand.

Contact Us Today for Depot Drug Development Today

For over 20 years, our advanced technology and manufacturing capabilities have supported all phases of depot drug manufacturing and have solved complex challenges in the depot injection industry.

Contact us today to learn more about the solutions that Oakwood Labs can provide.